Hawaiian photo by Sun StarAt first glance, today’s high-level event in the United Nations General Assembly would appear to confirm the worst suspicions of UN skeptics. The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is hosting a daylong special session on “Happiness.”

What the heck is going on? More than meets the eye, in fact.

One of the hottest fields in development economics has been, believe it or not, happiness research. And it turns out that the government in Thimpu may have something wise to say on the subject.

Although one of the poorest countries in the world, Bhutan has also been judged the happiest nation in Asia and the eighth happiest in the world.

40 years ago, Bhutan’s king began popularizing the concept of Gross National Happiness to replace Gross National Product as a gauge of national progress. Improbably, the concept has taken off.

Today’s high level meeting entitled, “Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm,” raises the idea to new heights.

(READ the story in the Atlantic)

Photo by Sun Star

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